UK Defense Ministry Launches $1B Military Tech Devt Initiative

innovationThe U.K.’s ministry of defense has unveiled a $1 billion initiative that seeks to encourage individuals and companies to develop technologies that can help British defense and security forces address mission challenges.

MOD said Friday it will fully launch the Innovation Initiative in September with a prospectus, exhibits and a guide on how interested parties can apply for funds under the program.

U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said the defense budget that supports the initiative will increase annually through a 10-year period to help U.K. maintain its military capacity.

MOD noted it will establish a defense and security accelerator hub that will oversee technology development efforts under the initiative once strategic and investment plans are finalized.

The initiative will also involve an Innovation and Research Insights Unit that will examine the potential impact of emerging technology trends on U.K.’s defense and security missions.

The ministry added it launched a competition to seek industry designs on unmanned systems that can help assess hazardous scenes such as contaminated sites.

Disruptive technology projects backed by MOD include Animal Dynamics‘ work on a dragonfly-like miniature unmanned aerial system designed to gather intelligence for future missions in urban environments.

MOD partnered with the University of Birmingham to develop a quantum gravimeter system that will work to survey underground structures in minutes and collaborates with industry to build a demonstrator that will explore the potential of laser weapons against aerial threats.

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